The story of the struggle for survival of a few inhabitants in the "high country" of Utah in 1933, during the worst draught they have ever known in the Great Depression. City boy Danny arrives at his Uncle Gil's ranch to help the family out. Although lacking in ranch hand skills, the boy manages to save his uncle's life when a "Big Cat" (a cougar) comes onto the ranch, desperate for the water it needs to survive. A local backwoodsman spends the film trying to track and kill the cougar before it kills a human, and a romance blooms between two young locals. A beautifully filmed outdoor drama.